Trial by fire: connected and disconnected gaze in Corsica
(University of Cambridge)
Paper short abstract:
Paper long abstract:
This paper is based on an ethnographic exploration of divergent visual engagements with forest fires in a Corsican village. For 'locals', watching and mapping the spread of a fire on the opposite hillside from the village square is a complex practice which brings to bear a host of emotional and intellectual connections to place, people and history - it is also a shared practice of crisis management, in which generational and identity issues are worked out. Taken together, these features turn fires into a moment when the presence of the tourist as 'spectator' becomes deeply problematic and non-negotiable. Around this ethnographic situation, the paper suggests ways in which ostensibly essentialist and categorical identity conflicts can emerge out of a complex interaction between fluid networks and critical events.
Ways of seeing, ways of being: spectatorship and participation through tourism